Photo of Derrick Harvey
Grade
?
  • 31 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 7.27 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.36 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'5" Height
  • 271LBS. Weight

Overview

The unquestioned leader of the Gators' defensive unit, Derrick Harvey put on a dominating performance during his final season at Florida.

Thrust into captaincy as a junior, he more than lived up to the coaching staff's expectations, as Florida led the Southeastern Conference and ranked 10th in the nation, allowing only 103.31 yards rushing per game in 2007.

Despite just 18 career starts, Harvey finished his career ninth all-time at UF with 20.5 quarterback sacks.

Harvey was an All-America selection by Tom Lemming, EA Sports, Riddell and Super Prep, adding second-team All-USA honors from USA Today as a senior at Roosevelt High School. He was named the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year and was rated the third-best defensive end in the nation and top-rated defensive end in the Atlantic Region by TheInsiders.com (also a five-star choice on the National Hot 100 list and a first-team All-Atlantic region selection by that publication).

Harvey received a five-star rating and was listed as the second-best defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com. He was rated the premier prospect in the Mid-Atlantic region by Super Prep and received first-team All-State honors by the Associated Press. What makes all of these accolades even more impressive was the fact that he never played organized football until his junior season, as he was a two-year standout for the basketball team before finding football.

As a senior, Harvey served as team captain, guiding the squad to a 12-1 record in 2003, losing its only game of the season in the Class 4A state semifinals. Playing defensive end and tight end, he recorded 150 tackles and a Maryland state-record 31 sacks, as well as five forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and five batted down passes.

Harvey enrolled at Florida in 2004, as the university won a heated recruiting battle over Ohio State, Maryland and Tennessee. He redshirted and bulked up to 230 pounds. He saw limited action in nine games in 2005, playing behind starters Ray McDonald and Jarvis Moss at both defensive end positions. He finished his first year with the varsity by producing six tackles (four solo) with a six-yard sack and a pass deflection.

As a sophomore, Harvey shared left defensive end duties with Ray McDonald, starting five contests when the senior was sidelined with an injury. He recorded 35 tackles (24 solo) and led the team with 11 sacks, tied for the fifth-best season total in school history. He also paced the Gators with 13 stops for losses, adding eight quarterback pressures. He recovered three fumbles and caused another, picking up second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors, in addition to garnering MVP accolades for his performance in the BCS National Championship Game vs. Ohio State.

Harvey earned All-American third-team and All-Southeastern Conference second-team honors in 2007. The team captain started all thirteen games at left end, posting 49 tackles (31 solo), including 8.5 sacks and three pressures. His 17 stops behind the line of scrimmage rank 10th on the school single-season list. He also caused a fumble and broke up five passes. The fourth-year junior waited until after the Capital One Bowl to announce that he would enter the 2008 draft instead of returning to the Gators.

In 36 games at Florida, Harvey started 18 contests. He closed out his career ninth on the school's all-time record list with 20.5 sacks for minus 158 yards, adding 31 stops for losses of 190 yards and eleven quarterback pressures. He registered 90 tackles (59 solos), as he recovered three fumbles, returning one nine yards. He also caused two fumbles and had six pass deflections.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Has an ideal wing span (82 inches) with a tall frame and room to carry at least another 15 pounds of bulk...Displays lean muscle development, tight waist and hips and strong thighs and calves...Consistent pass rusher who can turn at full speed and chase down the ballcarrier on the outside...Must be accounted for and game planned by the opponent due to his sudden burst coming off the edge...When he keeps his hands active and uses his long reach, he can easily play off blocks...Flashes very good short-area acceleration and good leaping ability to impact the passing game at the line of scrimmage...Has good agility, balance and flexibility closing on the pocket...Plays with a consistent motor and won't give up on plays, despite usually being outweighed by over 50 pounds vs. his opponents (in 2007, his primary blocker averaged 311 pounds)...Not loud or vocal, letting his action due the talking, he displays a good work ethic...Has no problem making game-time mental adjustments, as he is alert to blocking schemes, slipping past trash...Has the mental ability to take plays from the chalkboard to the playing field...Is seldom faked out, as he reads and reacts to the play with good vision and shows urgency closing on the ball...Combines explosive quickness with adequate playing strength...Moves well off the snap and gets his best production when he beats the offensive tackle with quickness...Has outstanding timed speed coming off the edge and will stand up some, as well as play in a two-point stance, gaining good advantage by pinning the blocker's ears back with his quick-twitch movement...Quick reactor who takes proper angles attacking from the backside...Is consistently the first defensive lineman off the snap, showing the speed to come off the corner and pressure the pocket...High-energy type with good vision to locate the ball on the move...Sees plays develop and shows good patience while containing in attempts to shut down the reverse...Reacts quickly to block pressure, but does not change direction well in a crowd as he does in the open...When he has an unimpeded line to the ball, he closes with force and suddenness...Able to shed and make plays vs. the tight end, but even when he's overmatched vs. an offensive tackle, he will give full effort until the whistle...Able to neutralize one-on-one blocks, but is not a two-gap player that can handle double teams on a steady basis...Capable of playing with leverage and can get his hands into the tight end, stand the opponent up and shed, but will get rerouted vs. the bigger offensive tackles...Has the athletic ability to move laterally in pursuit and always gives a consistent effort on the chase from the backside...Takes good angles to the ball and flashes a good short-area burst...Could do a better job of securing tackles with his arms, as he lets a few ballcarriers get away, but he is an explosive form tackler when closing on the quarterback...Will throw his body around to make the play and what he does best is apply constant pressure on the pocket with his upfield burst and smooth hips...Shows a good rip, swim, counter and bull-rush move, with the ability to dip turning the corner...Has good hand placement on the blocker, but needs to use those hands better to prevent from being cut blocked...When he uses his hands and reach properly, he can gain separation, control and get off blocks...Has the speed to close the deal coming off twists and games and when he breaks free from the block, he takes dead aim on the passer...Has the hunger you want in a pass rusher when closing. Negatives: Has a tall, lanky frame and will need to add at least another 15 pounds of bulk, if he is to play with his hand down...Could possibly move to linebacker to take advantage of his speed, but he lacks experience at that position and struggles to keep his pads down in his backpedal, making him take false steps in transition when dropping back into pass coverage...Best when used on the move, as he does not have the size to overpower 300-plus pound offensive linemen on a steady basis (has problems when the bigger blockers latch on to him), as he will get rerouted if he doesn't beat the block with quickness...Can run down the line of scrimmage, but he struggles when he has to quickly change direction and despite his long wing span, he can't handle low trash...Must be more effective using his long reach to prevent blockers from getting into his chest...Because of his tall, lanky frame, he doesn't handle low blocks well and struggles with agility to consistently keep his feet clean...Has good hand usage and pass-rush techniques, but struggles once engaged in attempts to free up (best when he has an unimpeded path to the quarterback)...Could finish better when tackling and sometimes lets his hands get outside his frame, causing him to miss on some arm swipes. Compares To: JEVON KEARSE-Philadelphia...Harvey might be too tall to shift to outside linebacker at the next level, but there is no question that he has the speed to play there. Despite his lanky frame, he is much more than just an edge rusher, evident by the fact that opponents were held to minus-28 yards on 47 running plays in his area last year. He needs to add more bulk to his frame, but 19.5 sacks and 30 stops for losses over his last two seasons vs. 300-plus pound offensive linemen are evidence that proves he has the power and avoidance skills to pressure the pocket on a consistent basis. Put him in a system like Dallas uses with Anthony Spencer and Greg Ellis and Harvey could develop into an Adalius Thomas-type who is best when allowed to roam the field.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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